4 -: Top Ugly Truths About Going Through Pregnancy
There’s not a shadow of a doubt that pregnancy is such a beautiful thing. A human being gets to grow and live inside you, what else could be better than that (maybe dark Belgian chocolates, of course not!)?
However, before you get to enjoy being with your little angel, there are nine months of struggle in between. Indeed, pregnancy has so many side effects (most of them weird) that it really becomes a challenge to survive the whole nine months.
In fact, you might be shocked to discover that pregnancy isn’t just what doctors, friends and relatives tell you about it. There is so much more going on and it pays to prepare yourself for what is to come. Brace yourselves!
1. You become a saliva monster.
Sure, people have told you about the weird cravings, but that is not the cause of your increased saliva production (it’d be better if it was). It can feel very uncomfortable when you feel like you’re choking on your own saliva and then later, have to spit it out. But yes, this is one of the ugly truths of pregnancy.
The truth behind this is that pregnant women tend to be more nauseated when pregnant, and when they are, the mouth produces more saliva. This condition is called ptyalism. Actually, the build up of saliva in the mouth can also be caused by less swallowing. Additionally, there are other things that trigger you to become the saliva monster you never thought you’d become, such as smoke, irritants and heartburn.
Looking back, you might actually feel bad making fun of your brother or sister when you found them drooling in their sleep. Now, you’re the one doing it and you have no control of it as well (boo-hoo!).
It doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t look good (from your husband’s perspective) and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t smell good either. However, you’ll be happy to know that even if you’re drooling all over, this doesn’t affect your baby at all.
2. The itching is unimaginable.
Did you ever have that itchy feeling on your skin, but when you scratch it, it magically goes away and moves to another area? Then when you scratch it again, it moves again? Well, this doesn’t have to do with pregnancy, I was just asking (sorry!), but pregnancy itself has a weird itch going on.
The unimaginable itching comes in when your belly starts to expand. Trust me when I say that the itch is unimaginable and most of the time, unbearable too. It’s like you just want both your hands to really get in there and scratch your belly like there’s no tomorrow, but you can’t do really do that.
The reason for the itching is the combination of estrogen and the stretching of the skin. Many people say that scratching your belly will result to more stretch marks, but that’s only half true because for most women, stretch marks are inevitable no matter what you do.
Anyhow, there’s only so much you can do with the unbearable tummy itching. Some would swear by using calamine lotions, wearing loose clothes or just simply not minding. I say, how can you not be bothered at all? I would suggest some ice, glide it gently on the skin to make it numb for a bit. If that doesn’t work, you may just want to put restraints on your hands (those cute handcuffs may come in handy).
Additionally, the severe itching in the third trimester could also be due to the condition called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy or ICP. A symptom of this condition is that the itching spreads to the arms, palms, leg and soles of the feet. Sometimes, it could also be felt on the face, chest, back and breasts. The itching is very intense at night so if you feel this, make sure you contact your doctor as it could be a sign of a liver problem.
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3. Morning sickness gets REALLY bad.
Morning sickness is one of the most common side effects of pregnancy. Most pregnant women will suffer from it, while a bunch of other lucky ones won’t. The ugly truth about it is that it can get really bad.
Magazines, books and doctors won’t tell you how bad it is and it will seem like it is something you can easily go through. It is not! It will make you question what bad things you’ve done in life to deserve a miserable feeling.
Imagine this. You wake up in the morning only to feel like throwing up. And when you do, you’d want to rest up again. When you finally have the appetite to eat a little, your morning sickness sticks it up to you again and you just end up facing the toilet bowl. Imagine doing that the entire day for the first trimester. And if you’re really unlucky, it can last until the second or even the trimester.
On top of that, your appetite will continue to go down. Not to mention, your morning sickness will cause you to be very picky with food too. Add these all up and you’ve got the making of a daily disaster!
It is so bad that you really wouldn’t want to wish it on your worst enemy. Okay, I take that back, but you get what I mean.
Moreover, severe morning sickness is actually called Hyperemesis Gravidarum in medical terms. If the morning sickness gets really bad, this can lead to severe dehydration, which can put your pregnancy at risk. You may want to consult your physician about this.
4. Your saliva tastes different.
As if being a saliva monster and having bad morning sickness aren’t enough, you will have to deal with an unusual taste in your saliva too. The problem is, there’s nothing you can do about it because your saliva stays inside your mouth. So yeah, you are stuck with it… at least until the first trimester is over.
All your life, you were used to the taste of your saliva. And the beauty of it was, it didn’t have any taste at all and you’re more than thankful for that. However, strange things happen during pregnancy and suddenly, your saliva starts to manifest a distinctive taste and it’s not the good kind.
You might find yourself complaining that it tastes like metal. This is a legit observation as this symptom is referred to as dysguesia. It is yucky and it lingers. This will make you want to stuff things in your mouth just to avoid the metallic taste, but how can you if you have bad morning sickness? Agh!
That’s not all. You’ll find that your taste for food changes as well. Anyhow, experts suggest that to combat the metallic taste, you focus on citrus juices and foods instead—that is if your sensitive tummy can take it.
5. Your rib feels fractured.
I bet you’ve rarely heard of this pregnancy symptom, but it does exist and it is also a legit complain from pregnant women. With your breasts and nipples so sore, and your belly starting to expand at an unprecedented rate—there is that problem in between.
Yes, pregnancy will affect the ribs too, and it will be very painful and uncomfortable (just being honest here). The pain usually happens on the right side, just under the right breast. It feels like the rib is falling apart, but it really isn’t.
The cause for the pain and discomfort is your baby (no, don’t blame the baby), I meant your uterus pushing up against it. This pain peaks during the second trimester where the uterus is still high and it tends to squash the ribs.
Adding to that squashing feeling is when the baby starts kicking and punching the rib area too (now you can blame the baby, kidding!). This happens early in the third trimester. But when the uterus starts going down, the pain will magically go away and I mean that literally. The pain goes away like it never existed!
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6. Crazy moods and paranoia is at an all-time high.
Pregnancy can drive you nuts physically, but for nine months, you’ll also be emotionally and mentally crazy and I really mean that.
Do you find yourself more emotional, crying easily when watching TV shows or becoming more sensitive to what people say? Do you have that inkling to spend more time with your husband? Do you feel like you’re the most pitiful person on the face of the planet?
Then the next day, do you feel like you just want to break every China in your kitchen? Do you feel like you can’t stand the sight of your husband and you just want to punch him in the face (please don’t do that)? Do you feel like you have so much anger and angst?
That’s how crazy the moods can get. It can change by the day, by the hour and by the minute. You’d be a sensitive and meek angel one minute and you’ll be an evil tyrant the next. Not to mention, you always suspect your husband of cheating on you because the paranoia is at an all-time high.
The main culprit is your hormones. So, no. You’re not getting crazy and you won’t give birth in a mental asylum. Just stick through it, it happens!
7. Even pooping is a challenge.
Honestly speaking, one of the worst feelings in the world is wanting to go, but you can’t go. It feels like you are carrying a truckload of mess inside that stomach and you just want to dump it. Unfortunately, pregnancy is telling you to wait a bit. What??? No kidding.
Constipation is a very common concern with pregnant women. This is due to the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract, resulting in the food being passed slower than usual. And since pregnant women also take iron supplements, it can make the constipation worse.
Adding to the constipation is the presence of hemorrhoids. They are painful and so uncomfortable because they itch just outside the anus. When you finally feel that you are ready to go, which should feel like being in paradise after a few days of holding it in, the hemorrhoids will kill the party and turn the experience into a bad one.
The moral lesson here is to always eat fiber-rich foods and drink lots of water. It is always better to sweat through other means that sweat it out in the bathroom, sitting down on that toilet bowl and praying to the high heavens to make your attempt successful.
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8. You are living in a huge oven.
Summer is like the worst season for all pregnant women. And most often than not, it will feel like your body temperature is worse than an overheated car. Ladies, welcome to the real world of pregnancy.
Pregnant women will feel hotter than usual and they will find themselves sweating more too, particularly in the third trimester. The main reason for this is the increase in blood volume in the body. To be exact, there’s a 50 percent increase in the blood volume causing the blood vessels to work doubly hard. As a result, you feel like you’re always in an oven like a pig being roasted (yummy!).
On the other hand, during the third trimester, the main culprit of sweating more is the increased metabolic rate. I know how hard that can be, carrying your big belly around, making sure you don’t get dehydrated and most of all, being very conscious of those embarrassing sweaty pits (oh my).
The best solution is to wear loose and cool clothing and to always bring plenty of water with you. The sweating can lead to dehydration and that can put your baby at risk. Also, try and stay in a cool room as much as you can, although some air-conditioned rooms will still feel like a busy resto kitchen on a Saturday night.
9. Sex is a rare commodity.
One of the things women worry about when getting pregnant is their ability to have sex with their husbands. They worry that their husbands might cheat if they can’t provide the pleasure.
First off, you must realize that you are carrying your baby and making sure it is healthy. That is the priority. Next, sex is not impossible. In fact, if you Google sex advice and sex positions, you’ll be able to read plenty of articles about it.
But those pieces of advice cannot compare to what you will go through. Let’s add it all up, the morning sickness, the metallic saliva taste, the painful ribs, the itchy tummy, the constipation and the overheated feeling, now, do you think that you’ll be in the mood for sex? On top of that, can you and your husband get over the mental image of the baby down there when you do the deed?
Orgasm will be hard to achieve as well. With the uterus pushing down on the genitals, the sensation is less. Hence, having sex will feel like more of a chore during this time.
HOWEVER, if you’re the lucky pregnant woman whose libido increased and have an insatiable sexual appetite during pregnancy (which I’m sure the husband will thank the heavens for), by all means, have sex with your husband. Do lots of it too! Bump and grind if you please, as long as you do the safe positions for pregnancy sex, then the baby will also be safe too.
10. Sleep is close to non-existent.
In your first trimester, you’ll find yourself always wanting to sleep. And when you do, you’d feel like sleeping again. This is a very common symptom.
But when the second trimester starts to roll in, then it is a different story. It also becomes worse during the third trimester and by the time you gave birth, sleep will equate to zero percent.
The thing is, even if your body wants to sleep, it doesn’t allow you to. You experience hot flashes at night. You get up and pee as if your body was predominantly made of water. Your body weight is getting heavier and putting pressure on your back. Even sleeping on your side is uncomfortable. There’s also heartburn, fatigue, leg cramps and restless leg syndrome.
But if there’s something I’d want to add, it is the crazy dreams you’ll be having. At this point, your mind will go wherever you want it to go. And somehow, unconsciously or subconsciously, your mind will always go to a scene or situation wherein you will catch your husband cheating on you. Sad to say, you’ll wake up so pissed and your husband won’t have any idea why.
This is a weird symptom, but it really happens. Experts point to anxiety as the culprit.
On the other end of the spectrum, pregnancy isn’t so bad when you look at it with a bigger perspective. Sure, these ugly truths will catch you off guard and sometimes, it will feel like you will barely survive. At the end of it all, you will and you will do it for your little angel. The ultimate truth is that it will be worth it. And I’m sure you’ll go through all of it again for your little one, OR maybe not! Til’ next time.
Written by: Azalea Pena